Tuesday, December 07, 2010

House Committee Chairs Released

Here's the list of who will be chairing the various House Committees.
Agriculture: Frank D. Lucas (Okla.)

Appropriations: Hal Rogers (Ky.)

Armed Services: Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (Calif.)

Budget: Paul Ryan (Wis.)

Education and Labor: John Kline (Minn.)

Energy and Commerce: Fred Upton Mich.)

Financial Services: Spencer Bachus (Ala.)

Foreign Affairs: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)

Homeland Security: Peter T. King (N.Y.)

Judiciary: Lamar S. Smith (Texas)

Natural Resources: Doc Hastings (Wash.)

Oversight & Government Reform: Darrell Issa (Calif.)

Science & Technology: Ralph M. Hall (Texas)

Small Business: Sam Graves (Mo.)

Transportation & Infrastructure: John L. Mica (Fla.)

Veterans: Jeff Miller (Fla.)

Ways & Means: Dave Camp (Mich.)

Obviously, no Republican whose in a position to become a Committee chair is going to be someone who I'd truly like to see in the position. But there is some silver lining. John Kline on Education and Labor isn't bad -- I saw him at the first congressional hearing on employment discrimination against the transgendered, and he wasn't bad. Fred Upton on Energy and Commerce is notable because it means Rep. Joe "I'd like to apologize to BP" Barton (R-TX) isn't chairing it, which can only be a good thing.

On the other hand, there are, as expected, some catastrophes. All signs point to Darrell Issa leading a 1990s style witch-hunt against the Obama administration -- something all the more dangerous because Issa is a very smart, very effective, and very incisive Congressman. Putting Peter King -- the man who publicly wondered if Eric Holder is on the side of al-Qaeda (rich given that King is one of the few congressman who did, in fact, openly ally with actual terrorists) -- is a joke. In Lamar Smith, we have an extremist who once spoke at a conference where speakers advocating executing American judges who were insufficiently right-wing.

And then there's all the rest. Paul Ryan has a reputation for wonkishness, but it's not one that seems grounded in any actual mastery of economic facts, so much as it's grading on a massive, massive curve accounting for the anti-intellectual bent of the GOP mainstream. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will insure that our policy towards Cuba will stay on the same failed trajectory it's been on for the past 40 years (and if that means sabotaging Israel, so be it), but other than amount of rhetoric devoted to the issue it's probably no real change. Spencer Bachus at least had the balls to call out Sarah Palin for something.

1 comment:

Barry Deutsch said...

One addition to your catastrophic list: Ralph Hall, who is a climate change "skeptic," is pretty disastrous as the chair of Science and Technology.